Excerpts: US re new sanctions on Iran. Nablus Palestinian shoots and stabs 6
Israelis. Erdogan,Putin cooperate re actions in Syria. Explosion at French
nuclear plant. Settler law February 09, 2017
+++SOURCE:Al Arabiya News 9 Fb.’17:”US may sanction Iran over Yemen,
Hezbollah and Iraq,by Staff Writer
SUBJECT: US administration re pressure for imposition of new sanctions
FULL TEXT: The new United States administration, under President Donald
Trump, is believed to be exerting pressure for imposition of new sanctions
against Iran in response to their activities in the Middle East and fueling
instability in the region.
The administration is said to be studying several aspects for the sanctions,
which one includes the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and their
meddling in other countries in the region, specifically Syria and Iraq.
US officials were cited by Reuters news agency and the New York Times on
Wednesday[8Feb] as saying that the Trump administration is considering a
proposal for sanctions that mentions the Revolutionary Guards on the list of
terrorist organizations, alongside the Muslim Brotherhood.
The plan to place sanctions on Iran has strong support within the White
House. It is expected that the final plan will reviewed by US Secretary of
State, Rex Tillerson. Many US officials have accused the Revolutionary
Guards of supporting proxy wars in the Middle East.
The next step may be to impose sanctions on Iran for its support to some
terrorist groups. A senior US official involved in the review of policy
towards Tehran revealed that the new administration considers Iran a threat
to US interests and is looking for ways to put pressure on them.
The official added that the White House could revoke the nuclear deal to
punish Tehran for its support to groups in the Middle East such as Lebanon’s
Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen besides other Shiite organizations in
Trump has said that the Iran nuclear deal, which ended a diplomatic standoff
between Iran and six world powers over the country’s nuclear policy and
opens the way for western investment, was “the worst deal ever negotiated.”
+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon) 9 Feb.’17:”Palestinian Gunman Wounds Six
Israelis near Tel Aviv,by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Nablus Palestinian shoots and stabs 6 Israelis
Full TextSix Israelis were wounded Thursday[9 Feb] when a Palestinian man
stabbed and shot at market-goers in central Israel, police said.
The attack in the city of Petah Tikva, outside Tel Aviv, was carried out by
a Palestinian assailant, Israeli police said, calling it a “terrorist”
Police said initial indications were the attacker, 19, was from the Nablus
governorate in the north of the occupied West Bank.
The man was arrested uninjured while still carrying the gun, they added.
The wounded were taken to hospital, with none of their injuries described as
The United Hatzalah medical group said one man was beaten by the crowd who
had apparently mistaken him for the attacker.
Since a wave of violence broke out in October 2015, more than 250
Palestinians, 41 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a
Sudanese have died.
Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming
attacks, according to Israeli authorities, with others were killed during
protests, in clashes or Israeli air raids on Gaza.
The rate of attacks has declined significantly in recent months.
SourceAgence France Presse
+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon)9 Feb.’17:”Putin,Erdogan Agree to Up Coordination
after Russian Raid Kills 3 Turks in Syria”,by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Erdogan,Putin cooperate re actions in Syria
FULL TEXT:Three Turkish soldiers were accidentally killed and 11 wounded on
Thursday[9Feb] when a Russian war plane struck a building in Syria where the
troops were deployed, the Turkish army said.
The plane had been seeking to hit targets of Islamic State (IS) jihadists
but “by accident three of our heroic soldiers were martyred when a building
was bombed where our units were,” it said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had already reached out to Turkish
counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to express his “sadness and condolences.”
“Russian officials have said that the incident was an accident and have
passed on their sadness and condolences,” the army said, adding an
investigation is being carried out by both sides.
It said that of the 11 injured, one was badly wounded.
In Moscow, the Kremlin said Putin had offered Erdogan his condolences and
that the leaders had “agreed to enhance military coordination” going forward
in the fight against IS in Syria.
Turkey on August 24 began an unprecedented campaign inside Syria against IS
and Kurdish militia which initially made rapid progress but has become mired
in a deadly fight for the IS held town of Al-Bab since December.
While Turkey gave no details over the location of the deadly incident,
Moscow said that it took place around Al-Bab where Russian forces have also
been conducting air strikes.
Before Thursday’s[9 Feb] casualties were reported, the Dogan news agency
said 66 Turkish soldiers have now been killed in the Syria operation since
it began in August, mostly in attacks by IS.
Turkey and Russia have been on sharply opposing sides in the Syria conflict,
with Moscow supporting the regime of President Bashar Assad but Ankara
pushing for his ouster as the key to peace.
Relations reached a dangerous low in November 2015 when Turkish warplanes
shot down a Russian fighter jet over the Syrian border.
But a normalization deal was reached over the summer and the two sides have
been working ever more closely over the Syrian conflict.
They secured a deal to evacuate Syrians from Aleppo after the city was
retaken by Assad backed by his Russian allies.
The two sides have since backed a process in the Kazakh capital Astana to
search for peace to end the almost six-year civil war in Syria.
Meanwhile, separate operations by Turkey and Assad’s forces, backed by
Moscow, were trapping the jihadists inside Al-Bab.
Al-Bab has been besieged since Monday, when Assad’s forces advancing from
the south cut off a road leading into the town.
+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon)9 Feb.’17:”Explosion at French Nuclear Plant, No
Contamination Risk”,by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:Explosion at French nuclear plant
QUOTE:”No risk of contamination,authorities said
FULL TEXT:An explosion at a nuclear power station in northern France on
Thursday[9Dec] caused minor injuries but happened outside the plant’s
nuclear zone and posed no risk of contamination, authorities said.
“It is a significant technical event but it is not a nuclear accident,”
senior local official Olivier Marmion told AFP following the blast at the
Flamanville plant 25 kilometers west of Cherbourg.
IMRA Wikipedia;77% of electricity in France is nuclear
The electricity sector in France is dominated by nuclear power, which
accounted for 77% of total production in 2012, while renewables and fossil
fuels accounted for 15% and 8%, respectively. France has the largest
share of nuclear electricity in the world. The country is also among the
world’s biggest net exporters of electricity. The French nuclear power
sector is almost entirely owned by the French government and the degree of
the government subsidy is difficult to ascertain because of a lack of
transparency. The production of the nuclear power in France decreased 12%
in 2009 compared to 2004 equivalent to 8% units share less nuclear power. It
was almost equal to the 7% drop in electricity export.
+++SOURCE:Jordan Times 9Feb.’17:”Israel’s top court petitioned to strike
down settler law”,By Agence France Presse
QUOTE:”Prime Minister Netanyahu will be here on Febuary15. I don’t want to
get ahead of that now” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israeli and Palestinian rights groups petitioned the
supreme court on Wednesday[8 Feb] asking it to strike down a new law
allowing expropriation of private Palestinian land for Jewish settlers.
The law has sparked an outpouring of condemnation from around the world
since it was passed in the Israeli parliament late Monday, although the
United States has remained tight-lipped.
The act, which legalises dozens of wildcat outposts and thousands of settler
units in the occupied West Bank, now faces a legal challenge, however.
Israeli group Adalah said that it and the Palestinian NGO, Jerusalem Legal
Aid and Human Rights Centre (JLAC), sought to overturn the “dangerous” law.
“We have very strong arguments against the law,” Adalah’s lawyer Suhad
Bishara said outside the court.
“We definitely hope that the supreme court will declare that the law is
unconstitutional and thus cancel it.”
The law is seen by critics as promoting at least partial annexation of the
West Bank, a key demand for parts of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s
Its backers want to prevent a repeat of last week’s traumatic forcible
eviction of the wildcat settlement outpost of Amona, in the northern West
International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel
distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, dubbed
Before the new act became law, the supreme court ordered Amona, built on
privately owned Palestinian land, to be dismantled.
White House silence
Adalah and the JLAC are representing 17 Palestinian local councils in the
West Bank upon whose lands Israeli settlements covered by the legislation
have been constructed.
The new law allows Israel to legally seize Palestinian private land on which
Israelis built outposts without knowing it was private property or because
the state allowed them to do so.
Approved by 60 members of parliament to 52 against, it was slammed by the
Palestinians as a means to “legalise theft” of land.
“This sweeping and dangerous law permits the expropriation of vast tracts of
private Palestinian land,” said Bishara.
“It violates the property rights both of resident and refugee Palestinians.”
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has himself warned the
government that the law may be unconstitutional and risks exposing Israel to
international prosecution for war crimes.
He has said he will not be able to defend it before the supreme court, and
Israeli newspaper Maariv said on Wednesday[8 Dec] that he may even testify
The United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League strongly
criticised the legislation on Tuesday[7 Dec], although the new
administration of US President Donald Trump remained silent.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu will be here on February 15. I don’t want to get
ahead of that now,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, referring to the
Israeli premier’s planned visit to Washington next week.
The US State Department said President Donald Trump’s new administration
“needs to have the chance to fully consult with all parties on the way
Israel’s attorney general has said the law is unconstitutional and could
open the country up to prosecution at the International Criminal Court,
based in The Hague.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution in December stating that
settlements have “no legal validity” and demanding that Israel stop building
in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem.
Bishara said the new law flouted that resolution.
“The transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population into occupied
territory is a war crime,” she said.
But Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely insisted the territory
was not occupied.
“The underlying premise behind the critics of Israel is that this is
occupied Palestinian land. This premise is incorrect,” she wrote in an
“Israel has both historic and legal rights to this land and the [new] law
reaches the right balance between the rights of the Jewish families to their
homes and the right of the owners of these plots of land to get
compensation,” she added.
Under the act, Palestinian landowners whose property was taken for settlers
would be compensated with cash or given alternative plots.
“The legal principle of compensation is known in all western legal systems,”
“This principle that Israel adopted this week creates the right justice
between the Palestinians and the Jewish families.”
Sue Lerner – Associate, IMRA